Here are the happenings for The Silverberg Business, Ohio, Texas, and Illinois.
Books by the Banks, Saturday, November 19, Cincinnati, OH. I’ll be there at a table 10-4, with a break for a panel at 1pm, with Roger Collins, Jay Kalagayan, Christopher Rowe, and Laura Maylene Walter. Free admission.
I figured out the title early on, borrowing from Dashiell Hammett’s story “This King Business.” But who’s business would it be? The answer to that came from the story, and the name of the character for whom Shannon is searching.
Gary K. Wolfe, who reviewed The Silverberg Business in the August issue of Locus magazine said: “Probably the first thing SFF readers need to know about Robert Freeman Wexler’s The Silverberg Business is that it has nothing to do with any legendary grand masters of the field.” This is true, in that the content of the novel has nothing to do with Robert Silverberg. However, it also does.
During my senior year of high school we had to take various placement tests for college; apparently I did well enough to place out of my first college English class. The first semester of my freshman year, I took the class required for students who had placed out of first semester English. The only thing I remember from the class was the week that the teaching assistant took over. He assigned us a paper/story in which we introduce a new character.
At the time, I was reading Robert Silverberg’s novel, Lord Valentine’s Castle, serialized in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. In the current issue (probably the one shown here, from December 1979), Silverberg introduced a new character. I realized I could study how he did it to help me write my piece for the class. This was when I discovered that writers learn from studying (and copying) other writers. I’ve been copying ever since.
I don’t remember the name of the teaching assistant. He must have been a creative writing graduate student (as a freshman, I didn’t know there was such a thing). Whoever you are, thanks for the assignment. I didn’t know how important it would be.
I came across a great interview with Steven R. Smith at Foxy Digitalis. I listen to his music a lot while writing. He works mostly solo, using a variety of instruments and project names. He talks about the meanings of the names and why he uses them.
“So by saying, for example, Ulaan Janthina is going to be focusing heavily on keyboards and the rhythms will be generated by my homemade instruments, there’s going to be no guitar–we’re already starting to see what this can be and that’s before writing any music at all–and then because the Janthina name implies the sea and ocean, instruments like organs and electric pianos that are kind of watery…this all helps it take shape.”
New interview I did with Undiscovered Territories cover artist Chris Roberts, for the PS Publishing newsletter.
From the intro to the interview: “I was introduced to the art of Chris Roberts while working on page design and layout for Seb Doubinsky’s 2009 PS novel The Babylonian Trilogy, an insanely creative work that still affects my subconscious (Aside from writing fiction, I also design books, mainly interiors, and have been working with PS since 2003.). The interview is available online here.
Publisher’s Weekly has some things to say, some good, some not, which is what I would expect from a collection that has a lot of stylistic variety. Collections can’t please everyone. For example: “Weaker pieces rely on repetitive motifs and uncanny concepts stretched too-thin” but “The strongest entries allow Wexler’s accomplished prose ample elbow room.” I don’t agree with the part about weaker pieces, yet, obviously the reviewer is correct on the praising bits. Full review here.
Back in 2003, when my first book, In Springdale Town, came out, I did my first radio interview, with Vick Mickunas for his program The Book Nook, at WYSO, public radio for the Miami Valley etc. etc. The experience was an experience and not my favorite experience. In August 2021, before my reading to celebrate the release of The Painting and the City paperback/ebook, Vick had me back on his show. The shows used to be live but are now taped in advance, which is less stressful. I had fun this time, and I think it came out okay. Not that I plan to listen to it. But here’s the link to the archive.
The building shown above is the former Yellow Springs high school turned Village offices turned miscellaneous rentals turned future radio station plus offices for Dave Chappelle’s Iron Table Holdings.